Father’s Day: My Absentee father.


I have a confession to make. Ok, got lots of confessions; one am not a diehard football fan, there, i said it. Am not the kinda guy to lose sleep eti coz Spain got hammered 5-1. I cannot, will not wake up at 1 AM to watch late night World Cup games. I would not drink rat poison just because there is a power blackout during a penalty shootout. I appreciate good soccer without necessarily being ‘damu’ about it. While most people fantasize playing for those huge teams i dream of owning them, like a boss!

That’s not even a confession, it’s a revelation.

My confession is that right until now it has never occurred to me that there is anything of note called Father’s day. Serious, right up to the moment Biko started posting the Fatherhood stories; then am like ‘ooooh, baethewei si have a father too?!’

My father is a funny character. Not funny as in Steve Harvey funny, no. Not that kind of funny. He is funny coz e abandons us and doesn’t even look back, he just goes AWOL! Great move father, great move!

So today i decide to write about this man whose DNA i possess. I have been mulling over this article for a good 2 weeks now, am totally blank. I mean, what do i say to someone i have never met for 3 decades?

Um, ok, how do i even start? Hey father, Would you fancy a cup of tea? Coffee perhaps?
Hey, i love Imperial Leather soap and Lady Gay….not a good start. Wow, i didn’t realise conversing with him even on a Word document would be this difficult.

I’ll give it just one more try and if i fail to even break the ice i will stick to writing about cows and balls….

Father while you were away…nailed it. This is a good way to do a letter to him, my father, so here goes:

Father while you were away i grew up. Yes i did. Do you remember that skinny 12 year old boy you saw years back when you came to visit your buddy near our place? I was on top of a donkey cart on my way form fetching water for Nyameni and Monica and kairetu and jane. That should have been a light bulb moment for you to realise your son can be a pilot.

Ok, i did not become a pilot, am a blogger; Am piloting a blog. Close enough i guess.

Well, i grew up, am rocking a beard now, i even shampoo and condition it! Am still a little bit allergic to flesh growing on my bones but tisorait, am managing it quite well. It’s called maintaining an athletic frame!

Ah, to hell with this father while you were crap (excuse my language), its coming off like i miss you, which i don’t. Am sorry, life has really made me hardcore and i do not miss things that have not been part of me.

But funny thing is i am a part of you. I have looked at pics of mum and i have very little from her; Nelly my bro has more of her in him. That means that a good 87.5% is from you, the height, forehead, long fingers. 6.7% is from my ancestors. My heart is after Waithera’s own, a woman of substance.

Oh, breaking news, Waithera my mother passed away close to 15 years back. I won’t get into details because i would hate to see you cry.

Tell me, did you love her? Did you ever look into her eyes and filled her with sweet thing about dreams of spending a lifetime together, travelling the world, swimming with the sharks or just being there for her as her rock of solace? Did you? What nickname did you have for her?

Not that this is any concern of yours but she started dating this guy, a Joseph something, dark as night. That was years after you abandoned her, pregnant and confused. She later heard that you got a bullet in your head only that it wasn’t true. You did get a bullet though, only not in your head, i think it was in your butt. Am sorry if you are still in pain.

So this guy Joseph, i grew up calling him dad. He had a Nissan Sunny, KAA blah blah blah and used to pick us up from Gertrude’s and take us out. He fondly called Waithera Peggy. She loved being called Peggy.

Joseph was a father figure; he fitted the description of a father. I remember one Christmas he visited us and there was a black out and he was singing Gingle Bells in his deep manly voice, it was great.

I knew him as my dad till the day mum told me he wasn’t, that was when i was 18 after clearing high school. At least my mum was honest with me, my pal James asked his mum where his dad was. She told him that the poor dude got ran over by a speeding truck and his remains were never found. Case closed!

Son, Joseph is not your dad. You father is called Abdi and he is alive. Am telling you this now coz you are an adult and you need to know!”

I didn’t castigate mum for hiding this from me, i was speechless trying to envision a reunion with my real father. I imagined it to be epic, tearful and emotional. I imagined meeting my other siblings from a different mother. I wondered how we would bond as father and son…..

Would we catch up on those moments we missed while i was a boy? Would we go out for nyama choma, you reading a newspaper, me eating and looking at girls. Would you look into my eyes and advice me about women, how to kiss, how to break their hearts (this was your forte!). Would you introduce me to your buddies as your son who performed well in high school and was to join campus?

I searched for you, man i swear i did. I bribed Ali your friend to bring me to you, dude died of hiccups before we could find you, but i still used the few resources i had pre Google days to search for you.

I gave up when it was eminent i was the only one doing the searching. Man, you are a piece of work.

I have been angry at you for so many years. I have hated you but now i know better. Harboring hate can be such a tedious task.

So on this father’s day, i wish you well if you are alive. I hope you have been a better father to your other kids. I hold nothing against you.

PS: just a baethewei, am still putting up in a rental house. Yenyewe if you can hook me up with a crib of my own and a ride, that would be great! If you can’t, tisoarait, we are cool!

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8 thoughts on “Father’s Day: My Absentee father.

  1. Beautiful post, loved the ending, the letting go of the hate part. Abdi did miss out on knowing/having a great son like you, his loss though and a thumbs up to your mum for all she did for you guys and also to Joseph.

    The ‘ps’ made me smile 🙂

    • Hello, haki thanks a trillion for the comment…and for being a ghost reader!!I’ve actually bookmarked your blog and i will be going through it with a toothpick…..right after am thru with my kahawa tungu….wacha tu!

    • thanks for the comment ukhti….a man’s strength compared to that of a singlr mom is nothing…..i think you are stronger; a woman of substance!!and thanks a million for folowing my lunacy here on akhymjanja…..we (including the voices in my head) appreciate this!!

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